Digitization plays a role within all disciplines represented at Freie Universität Berlin, from the natural sciences to the humanities, where computer-assisted processes have become widespread in projects in the fields of digital and computational humanities and beyond. The challenges of digitization also include social and legal aspects, such as copyright law and handling of “big data.” As a result, the university welcomes submissions of projects from all disciplines – from the natural and life sciences to the humanities and social sciences – that can use the grant money to support their realization. Digital processes of communicating and acquiring knowledge, meaning digital teaching itself, may also be the subject matter of a course.
The Teaching Award is presented as part of the institutional strategy of Freie Universität within the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments. It supports the implementation of the university’s concept of research-oriented teaching.
In 2013 the first Teaching Award went to a German-Israeli exchange project for history students training to become teachers. It was awarded for a project headed by Martin Lücke, a professor of history education at Freie Universität. The following year a course for company founders, "Trans Pro Idee," designed by Rainer Haag, a professor of chemistry at Freie Universität, and Leonhard Urner, a graduate student in Haag's group, won the Teaching Award. The most recent award went to support the course "Computational Metaphysics" that was set up by Dr. Christoph Benzmüller to give students majoring in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science an introduction to the current state of research in logic and the use of modern, computer-based proof-assistant systems.